If you’ve never experienced the wonder and unity that is Fire in the Mountains, this should definitely be the year you change that.
Like everything else, FITM was set to pop off in a serious way after 2019’s amazing, epic fest, and then the brakes were put on. Now, they’re back and better than ever, boasting such impressive names on the bill as Emma Ruth Rundle, Wolves in the Throne Room, Enslaved, and Yob.
“Jeremy (Walker, co-founder and owner) and I started Fire in the Mountains because we basically just wanted to create the ultimate festival we would love to go to and bring people to our home to show off how much we love this place,” co-founder and owner Alex Feher says about the unique, outdoor Wyoming festival. “With each year that goes by, it seems we’re able to bite off a little more and accomplish that on a scale we could have never imagined. The all-encompassing festival itself is going to create a pretty amazing feeling for people.”
And the fest truly does create a whole feeling. In addition to the awesome music and the chance to either camp or get a room on the ranch where it takes place, there are a lot of other things to take part in as well. There are presentations and classes, and attendees will take a mandatory bear safety class, which is a lot more fun than it may sound, since the fest takes place in the middle of a national forest.
This year’s presenters and lecturers include an Incan Shaman, a Lakota elder to speak and perform a ceremony, a woman who leads meditation to metal music, someone who teaches primitive skills, herbalists leading a wildflower walk, a Nordic studies professor delving into how authentic Viking tattoos actually are, as well as some more surprises to be announced. Jonas Lorentzen, formerly of Heilung, will also be at the fest in the capacity of official chef, preparing dishes from food that Feher, a farmer, has grown or raised.
“We’re also doing a scholarship for the first time this year,” Feher adds. “We’re offering 25 recipients the chance to come to the festival on us. They have to pay for travel, but this is great for those who have been strapped due to COVID. We’re going to be rehabilitating the river that runs through where the festival grounds are, and if you’re willing to help, you can get a scholarship to come for free.”
So yes, definitely more than just a festival. The commitment to community education and giving back to nature is the backbone of the event.
“A big ethic for Fire in the Mountains is to be an environmental organization as well,” Feher continues. “We’re trying to be a regenerative force both as a business and just with our overall impact on the land. There’s this notion of, we need to reduce our footprint, like we’re just inherently bad, and it’s like no, fuck that. People are great, and we need to leave a really big, positive imprint and footprint on the earth as individuals and collectively. We’re going to start doing more initiatives like the river restoration scholarship in the future to get people involved and to offer something cool to participants for work training, make the land better off than it was when we got here.”
Mark your calendars now for Fire in the Mountains, happening July 22 through 24 at the Heart Six Ranch in Teton Wilderness, and grab tickets now. Get ready to headbang, give back to the earth, and get into the spirit of the wild.
Check out this festival teaser from 2020 here:
Photo courtesy of Fire in the Mountains and Jay Nel-McIntosh